Rio+20 Secretariat Presents Guidelines for Voluntary Commitments

30 April 2012: At a side event hosted by the Secretariat of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), delegates were briefed on mechanics and guidelines for Rio+20 Voluntary Commitments.

Voluntary commitments can be pledged via the Rio+20 website. They must: be new commitments or activities; be time-bound; undertake a specific, measurable action in one of the specified "sustainable development areas;" be able to demonstrate allocated resources or funding; and include an agreement to publicly disclose progress on an annual basis. Finally, it is expected that the commitments will be active beyond Rio+20. Commitments that arise out of side events and other activities held during Rio+20 also are encouraged to register on the site.

In addition to the Voluntary Commitments registry, the Access Initiative's “3Ds Campaign” consists of a list of achievable demands for their governments, in order to ensure reforms to strengthen environmental democracy, submitted by civil society groups worldwide. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has proposed developing a global registry of commitments, to account for commitments made through other initiatives. [Rio+20 Voluntary Commitments Website] [IISD RS coverage of the side event]